Gray Matter (short story)


Gray Matter (short story)

Infobox short story |
name = Gray Matter
author = Stephen King
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Horror, science fiction
published_in = "Cavalier" (1st release),
"Night Shift",
"Arbour House Necropolis"
publication_type = Magazine
publisher =
media_type = Print
pub_date = October 1973
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"Gray Matter" is a short story by Stephen King, published in 1978 in the compilation "Night Shift".

It was first published in "Cavalier" in October 1973. It also appeared in "Arbour House Necropolis" in 1982. It is set in the same area as King's novel "Dreamcatcher".

etting

Gray Matter takes place in an American town, and also in a convenience store and an apartment building.

Plot summary

The story, told from the perspective of an older "local" man, begins as he is sitting around at a convenience store with a group of his friends during a heavy snowstorm. A young boy runs in, deathly afraid. The men recognize him as the son of Richie Grenadine, a local man who was injured some time ago in a work accident, and was given lifetime worker's compensation. With no need to support himself, Richie became a recluse, rarely seen outside the confines of his apartment except to purchase the cheapest of beer, although lately, he had been sending his son out to purchase his beer for him.

After speaking privately with Richie's boy, the owner (Henry) and a few other regulars decide to take the beer to Richie personally. On their way, Henry relates some of the terrifying experiences the kid had told him — of how one day his father drank a "bad" can of beer and since has been slowly transforming into an inhuman blob-like abomination that detests light and craves warm beer. Spying on him one night, the boy saw his father eat a dead cat, causing him to finally seek help.

Arriving at Richie's home, the men confront him from behind his closed door, demanding that he come out and show himself. The odor pouring out from behind the door convinces the group that Richie was eating more than dead cats, speculating that he may be responsible for a recent rash of missing people, as well.

The men are horrified when Richie opens the door, and shambles out. No longer resembling anything human, Richie is more fungus than man. Worse yet, he appears to be in the process of "dividing". The rest of the men run off, as Henry stands his ground, firing his pistol at the creature.

The story ends with the narrator calculating the exponential growth the creature is capable of, as they sit at the convenience store, waiting to find out who survived, Henry or the creature.

External links

* [http://www.horrorking.com/night.html#Gray_Matter Story at HorrorKing.com]
* [http://www.stephenking.com/ King's official site]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gray Matter — or Grey Matter can refer to *Grey matter, a major component of the central nervous system *Gray Matter, an American hardcore punk band active in the 1980s and 90s *Gray Matters, a new American record label *Grey Matter, a British software… …   Wikipedia

  • One for the Road (short story) — One for the Road Author Stephen King Country United States Language English Genre(s) Horror short story …   Wikipedia

  • Short fiction by Stephen King — This is a list of short fiction by Stephen King. This includes short stories, novelettes, and novellas, as well as poems. It is arranged chronologically by first publication. Major revisions of previously published pieces are also noted. In all,… …   Wikipedia

  • Matter of Life and Death (Space: 1999) — Matter of Life and Death Space: 1999 episode Episode no. Season 1 Episode 2 Directed by Charles Crichton Written by …   Wikipedia

  • Matter — This article is about the concept in the physical sciences. For other uses, see Matter (disambiguation). Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist.[1][2] Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles… …   Wikipedia

  • Simon Gray — Simon James Holliday Gray CBE (October 21, 1936 – August 7 [Michael Billington, Remembering Simon Gray , The Guardian, 07 August 2008 [http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2008/aug/07/rememberingsimongray1936200] ] , 2008) was a prolific… …   Wikipedia

  • List of D.Gray-man characters — Many of the Black Order members as they appear in the anime adaption. The D.Gray man anime and manga series features a cast of characters created by Katsura Hoshino. The series is set at the end of a fictional 19th century during which the Black… …   Wikipedia

  • Spalding Gray — Infobox actor name = Spalding Gray imagesize = 300px caption = Gray in the 1996 film Gray s Anatomy birthname = Spalding Rockwell Gray birthdate = birth date|1941|06|05|mf=y birthplace = Providence, Rhode Island, U.S. deathdate = ca. death date… …   Wikipedia

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.